Kell Brook admitted his hard-fought win has left him with him plenty of homework to do after coming through the toughest test of his career to beat Carson Jones.
Brook, now unbeaten in 28, endured a harrowing evening against American Jones in their IBF welterweight title eliminator as he ground out a majority decision win in his native Sheffield.
The Yorkshireman had to survive a badly-bleeding nose and relentless pressure from in-form Jones to eke out the victory, with one judge ruling it a draw and two giving Brook the win.
"It was a tough fight but I came through it and got the result after 12 hard rounds," the 26-year-old said. "I think the nose is broken and it affected me. I was tired halfway through.
"I think I got the diet right but I need to get top men involved so I can sustain it through the whole fight. Things need to be addressed.
"I'll come back stronger. I'm still unbeaten and I proved I've got the heart. It did get tough in there but I stood my ground, got through the fight and did what I needed to do to get the win.
"I didn't like Carson in the build-up but he's earned my respect here."
As for his next move - likely to be a final eliminator against Argentinian Hector Saldivia - Brook said: "I'll leave it to (promoter) Eddie Hearn.
"He has guided me perfectly so far, so I'll leave it up to him."
A disconsolate Jones said: "It felt like a close fight. It was a majority decision and one of the judges had it a draw.
"It was close and hopefully we can do it again."
Brook boxed nicely off the back foot early on, testing the water with occasional right hands.
He was boxing beautifully and a double left-right combination in the third, followed by an overhand right, were classy. A Jones uppercut on the ropes quickly dissuaded him, however.
Brook switched to southpaw in Jones' corner in the fifth and landed a nice right uppercut on the ropes, before stepping things up with two superb right hands.
Jones looked troubled for the first time as the crowd got to their feet, but still the local man remained patient as Jones saw out the round.
Brook got a taste of Jones' reputed power in the sixth. After having the American in bother with three left-right combinations, he allowed his man back into it as Jones threw shots back before landing an excellent right as Brook stepped back and followed it with some steady work to the body.
The man nicknamed 'Special K' was taking more shots than in the first five rounds and looked untidy in the seventh. Jones badly bloodied Brook's nose in the eighth with what appeared to be a short right and Brook faced the biggest crisis of his largely comfortable career.
Blood was streaming down Brook's face as he tried to stay out of harm's way and he was grateful for the bell to end the ninth.
Jones hurt Brook with an uppercut and if anything he looked the more dangerous of the two as he won the 10th.
Brook looked ragged, landing a good right to the top of the head but being caught on the way out.
In the 12th round Brook sucked up a hard right to the side of the head and fired back while Jones kept coming forwards and landed a series of spiteful close-range shots.
Brook saw the final bell, though, finishing the 12 rounds bloodied and tired but ultimately victorious with a majority decision win as one judge had it a draw and the other two ruled 116-113 and 115-113 in his favour.
On the undercard, former Olympian Kal Yafai enjoyed an impressive start to life as a prizefighter with a comfortable victory on his professional debut.
Boxing at bantamweight, the Beijing Olympian looked composed and classy with a one-sided win as Delroy Spencer's corner pulled him out after two rounds.
Boxing on his toes from the first bell, 23-year-old Yafai felt his way through the first round against Wolverhampton journeyman.
He looked to step it up in the second - a nice left hook to the body catching the eye - while at the same time remaining patient.
But a series of powerful shots and the futility of Spencer's own work led to the veteran's team pulling him out.